The Chicago White Sox has a pretty good lineup. It was good enough to win 93 games and a Central Division crown for the first time since 2008. They were as deep as they have ever been as there is talent walking all over that place. Some injuries made things difficult and it also forced them to trade away Nick Madrigal.
The team’s former fourth overall pick was having a nice start to his MLB career but he did deal with a bad injury for the second year in a row. This time it shut him down for the rest of the season and they hadn’t even reached the All-Star break yet.
Madrigal went to the Chicago Cubs in the deal that brought Craig Kimbrel to the south side. He was the perfect nine-hitter for the White Sox before being traded away. The reason that he was perfect was that he protected the plate well, got on base a lot, and had a good batting average.
Madrigal is one of those hitters that you don’t need power from. All he needs is to turn over the lineup to Tim Anderson (the leadoff hitter) without messing anything up. He did that by reaching base in some way a good amount of time. Having a really good nine-hitter is hard to come by in Major League Baseball and Madrigal will continue to be that on the north side.
The Chicago White Sox needs to find themselves a new number nine hitter.
Replacing Madrigal at second base is going to be hard enough. It may be even harder to replace that nine spot in the batting order. It would be nice to find a really good slap hitter just like Madrigal but they don’t grow on trees. He is a unique player so a replica isn’t likely but someone who can drive the ball from that spot would be nice.
There is a lockout right now so we might have to wait a while to find the answer. It could come from within the organization or it could be someone that they sign when they are allowed to do so once again. Hopefully, this new nine-hitter on the horizon gives them 80% (or more) of Madrigal’s production.